Rep. Vela Instrumental in Protecting the Laguna Madre and other Estuaries

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Texas Border Business

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protect and Restore America’s Estuaries Act, legislation to help ensure our estuaries are restored and preserved.

This bill nearly doubles the amount of funding available to support natural estuaries, allowing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider adding more of these necessary ecosystems to the National Estuary Program.

As one of only five or six hypersaline lagoons in the world and the only one in the U.S., the Laguna Madre has unique conservation requirements. Adjacent to the longest barrier island in the world, Padre Island, the Laguna Madre is home to five species of endangered sea turtles, and a critical migratory bird habitat for dozens of endangered or threatened bird species. The EPA previously designated the Upper Laguna Madre as a national estuary.

I look forward to working with our Senators to help enact this legislation, and with our local officials and our governor, so we can finally secure a National Estuary Program designation for the Lower Laguna Madre as well.

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